● Textile Printing
● Digital Printing
● Fashion and Life
Consumer demand - Social orientation - Production efficiency
Where is the future of the textile printing industry? What technology and processing methods can be selected to maximize production efficiency and become the leading force on the textile printing track. This must be the focus of the attention of relevant personnel such as industry manufacturers and designers.
As an emerging printing technology, digital printing is gradually showing its unique advantages and is predicted to have the possibility of replacing traditional printing methods in the future. The expansion of the market scale reflects from the data level that digital textile printing technology is highly consistent with today's social needs and market orientation. On-demand production, no plate-making, one-time printing, and flexibility. The advantages of these surface layers have made many manufacturers in the textile printing industry think about whether they need to replace traditional printing methods.
Of course, traditional printing, especially screen printing, has the natural advantages of occupying the market for a long time: mass production, high efficiency, suitable for printing a variety of substrates, and wide ink applicability. The two printing methods have their advantages, and how to choose requires us to explore from a deeper and broader level.
Technology is always advancing with market demand and social development trends. For the textile printing industry, the following three perspectives are some available reference points for future technology upgrades.
Personalized services and products are an inevitable trend, which requires that the diversity and richness of fashion elements need to be embodied in daily life. The rich color effects and various design patterns are not well realized by traditional screen printing because the screen needs to be replaced multiple times according to the pattern and color.
From this perspective, laser Cutting digital printing textiles can perfectly fulfill this need with computer technology. CMYK four colors are mixed in different proportions to produce continuous colors, which are rich and realistic.
Sustainable is a development concept that has been advocated and adhered to for a long time in the 21st century. This concept has penetrated production and life. According to statistics in 2019, more than 25% of consumers are willing to purchase environmentally-friendly clothing and textile products.
For the textile printing industry, water consumption and power consumption have always been the main force in the carbon footprint. The water consumption of digital textile printing is about one-third of the water consumption of screen printing, which means that 760 billion liters of water will be saved every year if screen printing is replaced by digital printing. From the perspective of consumables, the use of chemical reagents is roughly the same, but the life of the print head used in digital printing is much longer than that of screen printing. Accordingly, digital printing seems to be superior compared to screen printing.
Despite the multiple steps of film-making-printing, screen printing still wins in mass production. Digital printing requires pretreatment for some substrates, and the print head has to be continuously switched during the printing process. And color calibration and other issues limit the production efficiency of digital textile printing.
Obviously from this point of view, digital printing still has shortcomings that need to be overcome or improved, which is why screen printing has not been completely replaced today.
From the above three perspectives, digital textile printing has more obvious advantages. More importantly, production needs to conform to the laws of nature to make production activities continue in a stable and harmonious ecological environment. Production elements require continuous subtraction. It is the most ideal state to come from nature and eventually return to nature. Compared with the traditional printing represented by screen printing, digital printing has reduced many intermediate steps and raw materials. This has to be said to be a great breakthrough although it still has many shortcomings.
Continuing in-depth research on the conversion efficiency of equipment and chemical reagents for digital textile printing is what the digital printing industry and textile industry should continue to practice and explore. At the same time, screen printing can't be completely abandoned because of part of the market demand in the current stage, but digital printing is more potential, isn't it?
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